Appalachian Collapse Scenario


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Appalachian Collapse Scenario

  1. 1. The Collapse of Appalachia by 2040 Run for the Hills: Appalachia’s Burning!!!
  2. 2. Table of Contents Chapter One: Stereotypes and Poverty Chapter Six: Mountaintop Removal by Amy Thompson by: Ashley Morgan 2999 words 3069 words Chapter Seven: Clean Coal Technology Chapter Two: Education and Economic by Megan Kleinline Development 3000 words by John Chenault Chapter Eight: Energy 3100 words by Shea Sheppard Chapter Three: Political Corruption 3100 words Chapter Nine: Environmental by Bethany Bargo Legislation 3414 words by Cullen Younger Chapter Four: Religion 3688 words by Matt Finley Chapter Ten: Entrepreneurship 3072 words by Josh Tyree 2897 words Chapter Five: Illegal Drug Use Chapter Eleven: A Warning by Steve Skinner by Blake Gerughty 2973 words 3100 words
  3. 3. How Stereotypes and Poverty will Affect Appalachia Chapter 1: Those Gosh Darn Hillbillies BY: AMY THOMPSON
  4. 4. The Appalachian Stereotype “Oh, I don‟t know. How about „Good morning, Appalachia, I got a mighty cute sister and an extra set Even if a stereotype generalizes good of toes.” qualities, it is still damaging because it –Gilmore Girls classifies an entire community of people before one can acknowledge the personal (Season 4, Episode 16) differences that exist within such a Stereotypical Appalachian Characteristics: community. 1. Appalachians are unintelligent, uneducated, The Appalachian stereotype is devoid of any cannot read and have trouble understanding many qualities that could be labeled as good. situations. Instead, it encompasses an array of negative Shoes are not are a part of an Appalachian‘s 2. attributes. wardrobe. 3. Appalachians are weak, helpless, shiftless and lazy. 4. That is why they are dirt poor. 5. And this leads them to be wholly unhealthy (drugged up and drunk) and unhygienic. Appalachians don‘t take care of their families; 6. they are irresponsible. 7. But they do take care of their guns. They love guns. 8. Marrying inside the family is not uncommon for Appalachians.
  5. 5. Appalachian Stereotype Even if the stereotype is This stereotype is typically targeted toward maintained only jokingly, its the citizens of Kentucky, Tennessee and persistence in the world can lead West Virginia, the heart of Central to many people believing it as the Appalachia. It is one that, whether ultimate truth. Those who are intending to or not, does not work to lift up geographically removed, say in the Appalachian people. Unfortunately, it California, may never have the demeans the people by painting them as opportunity to see Central incapable human beings. Appalachia and thus, would take what they hear as fact, especially According to when those stereotypes are Appalachian American [noun] supported by members of the A PC term for any number of Americans who by news media like Bill O‘Reilly. On region, decent or choice are hillbillies, hilljacks, his show, The O‘Reilly Factor, hilligans or carnival workers. O‘Reilly claimed, for thousands Appalachian Appellation [noun] to hear, that Appalachia was A name for a hillbilly, particularly ones from ―hopeless‖ and the best thing mountain country. Examples include Clem, Appalachians could do would be Bocephus, and Zeke. Female Appalachian to ―move to Miami.‖ These kinds Appellations include Daisy & Ellie Mae. Of of suggestions instill in his course, hillbillies do not use the term themselves, since they can't pronounce the viewers minds that it is time to give up on the region (O‘Reilly). word APPELLATION.
  6. 6. Appalachian In the 2008 American The media purported this presidential election, this Stereotype: vision of Palin as a very incident occurred bumbling, with Sarah Palin. Palin is real-life affects unsophisticated, incapable governor of Alaska, a state hillbilly. It does not matter with which the majority of whether this labeling was those living in the Figure 1.1 continental U.S. are based on truth or not. unfamiliar. What is important is the fact that America, During the 2008 election, knowing very little about members of the media, this political newcomer, inside the news business accepted the media‘s and out, took facts about reports as truth, without 1.2 Palin like that she enjoys Figure imploring much hunting and had an 18- further(Olbermann). year-old, unwed pregnant daughter, two Appalachian stereotypical characteristics, and amplified them in order to justify the renaming of her family the ―Wasilla Hillbillies.‖ lies/nonnie9999/tv%20shows/thebeverlyhillbillies2.jpg
  7. 7. Appalachian Stereotype: origins Norma Myers, an archivist at the Archives for Appalachia acknowledges that ―[t]here are little grains of truth in some of these stereotypes.‖ Yes, some people own Around the same time the United States overalls and some people choose not to wear shoes when entered the industrial revolution in the outside; the region does have high poverty rates; there are late 19th and early 20th century, the drug problems and health problems, and yes some people Appalachian stereotype was emerging. in Appalachia are lazy, just like some people are in New Up until this time, the country‘s economy York and Detroit, L.A. and Hartford. was agriculturally based, the culture was heterogeneous, and communication was Seeing these grains of truth as the absolute picture of more rudimentary. Appalachia is a mistake. It is necessary to ask why these things are true and understand that they do not equate the Appalachian people to hopelessness. Once roads were developed and the “[t]he stereotypes have economy changed, so did the way people saw each other, and the Appalachian been applied broadly to stereotype prevailed. The country [all Appalachians], and progressed: more roads, education was it‟s been turned into a modernized; farming turned into to caricature.” corporations and fast food chains began. Central Appalachia‘s mountainous -Norma Myers landscape made it hard to pave and while, there is enough land for individuals to The biggest problem with the Appalachian stereotype is keep gardens, agricultural on a massive that it is the only side displayed to people outside scale is hard to sustain there. Central Appalachia. There is nothing wrong with walking around Appalachia was left behind as industry barefoot when you have soft, comforting land, like began to tighten its grasp on America. Bluegrass, to walk on, but when that plays into the one, mass generalization that is widely known about Appalachia, it provokes people to accept the bad attributes, like being lazy and uncaring, as true and provides less motivation to care about the well-being of
  8. 8. According to the Collins Essential English Appalachian Dictionary: Hillbilly [noun] Stereotype: Usually disparaging an unsophisticated person from the why it remains mountainous areas in the southeastern U.S. The Appalachian stereotype remains because people, inside and outside of the region, refuse to As a result of the stereotype‘s presence in let it die. It spread like a virus from personal highly watched shows like the O‘Reilly factor perceptions of the region to bigger, more powerful outlets. Entertainment industries, mostly and 20/20, the likelihood of people outside the television, use the stereotype to amuse their region believing the stereotype as fact viewers and make a profit, but even in this increases, making it harder to break, and it seemingly innocent fashion it is damaging. leads to insiders embracing the things that they are best known for: laziness and helplessness. After decades of the stereotype‘s presence in entertainment, it has crept into the news media Then, it becomes easier for elites to thrive industry. It seems that the jokes have been around because it easier to enforce this stereotype. If for enough voices in power say that the citizens of such a substantial amount of time that those who Central Appalachia are unintelligent or live unskilled, they can manipulate the Central outside of the region believe that it is true. Now, it Appalachians into believing they deserve their is poor quality of life. Furthermore, it limits not unheard of for journalists and commentators to beneficial development, like better forms of
  9. 9. Figure 1.3 Figure 1.4 CMT is currently on their third season of ―My Big Fat Redneck Go into any Halloween costume store or scroll Wedding.‖ This particular wedding cake is for the union of through any costume website, and you will most Carol and Carlis, a Waverly, Ohio couple (Season 3, Episode likely find some version of this costume. This one is 14). Carol and Carlis are entitled to a confederate themed specifically called the ―Hillbilly Bride Costume‖ and wedding, but it does play into the stereotype by show in the it comes with an inflatable tummy, the essential same side of Appalachia that is always shown. Those watching accessory to really perfect the stereotypical look. this televised event, who are unfamiliar region, are once again, The Bride and Groom costume can be yours for a only provided with a single picture of Appalachia. mere $67.99 at ! tml
  10. 10. This picture is a still from the Looney Tunes Figure 1.5 cartoon, ―Hillbilly Hare.‖ Similar to ―The Beverly Hillbillies‖, ―Hillbilly Hare‖ feature naïve, ignorant characters who loved their guns. Also, their lack of shoes is very noticeable. The difference between this cartoon and the live-action T.V. show is that this cartoon is targeted specifically to children. This instills a generic image of Appalachians at an early age. From creative commons search ―The Beverly Hillbillies‖ was a television comedy that aired from 1962-1971. It focused on a country family‘s move from the holler to L.A., after they accidentally struck oil. Each week this was the version of ―hillbillies‖ America saw. These characters embodied Figure 1.6 naïve, ignorant personalities for fans to laugh at. From creative commons search
  11. 11. Figure 1.7 Figure 1.8 Hillbilly Days is an annual event in Pikeville, Jeff Foxworthy has made an entire career Kentucky. While it provides an opportunity for preying off the redneck stereotype that is socializing and fun, it is a great example of how frequently associated with the people of Central some Appalachians embrace the stereotype. Appalachia (Kentucky, West Virginia, Furthermore, Hillbilly Days also provides Tennessee). His most prolific joke, ―You might evidence of how the stereotype is not as prominent be a redneck, if ________‖ pokes fun at as some may think, considering that the Appalachians, implying their stupidity. Since it Appalachians who participate have to dress, on is all a joke though, it seems to be okay with his this special day, to specifically conform to the fans. / stereotype. nary3_MED.jpg From creative commons search
  12. 12. Appalachian Stereotype: The Appalachian stereotype cannot Native Americans, however, could get any worse. If this stereotype not problems continues it will build up the power to overcome the label that had been drive Central Appalachia into a state bestowed upon them, and almost of collapse. Stereotypes, this one entirely vanished. especially, are more than just childish The negative, name-calling. They are a Native Americans, blacks and Appalachian psychological force that frequently women have all provided examples stereotype has many critiques the ability of an entire of the real danger involved in the community of people. adverse affects for the present Appalachian stereotype, an example Central Appalachia must Central Appalachian notice. By the stereotype‘s future Region: When the Europeans arrived in North persistence, it will continue to America, they stereotyped the Native shackle Central Appalachia and 1. Limits tourism American population as ―savage‖ and while Central Appalachians will not 2. Limits the appeal used that to justify their vicious be physically slaughtered by the slaughter and oppression. Throughout rest of the United States, their of colleges in the the United State‘s history, until the society and their place in it will be area 20th century, blacks were stereotyped murdered. In order to avoid as‖ less than human;‖ they were collapse, it is essential to remove 3. Weakens the consequently, enslaved and physically the oppressive shackles of the morale of the and verbally abused. For the same Appalachian stereotype. If span of time, women in the U.S.A. Appalachians cannot break through citizens were considered ―weak‖ and thus this stereotype, it will continue to 4. Paves the way for denied the same rights of their male persist and be amplified. The the region‘s counterparts. stereotype will start to become true and confine the majority of Central communities to be Appalachians to a disenfranchising manipulated and These historical examples provide label. And since people are not two willing to help people who do not mistreated, as seen options of what one can do with a seem worth the time, this in the logic behind stereotype. The American black and stereotype will threaten the
  13. 13. Figure 1.9 2020 2030 2040 The stereotype has now All of the people living The Appalachian amplified all of the outside the region are stereotype prevails in all economic problems in the either apathetic toward or forms of the media region. cruelly dismiss the industry. problems of Central No businesses are Appalachians. interested in coming to Stand-up comedians Central Appalachia have begun using because they believe Appalachian jokes to there is no money, from replace racial and gender Medicare and Medicaid local taxes or on an jokes. News are cut to the region individual level to commentators have because Central support them. The begun calling for the Appalachians are all seen unfortunate aspect is that United States as substance abusers, and they are right. The government to cut the government has stereotype has programs like welfare, decided they will not progressed into such Medicare and Medicaid support such a prominence that Central in Central Appalachia widespread drug Appalachians have because they believe the problem. nothing left but their people are using it for a poverty. free ride.
  14. 14. Poverty: introduction The Appalachian Stereotype has prevailed for decades and it is not showing any signs of demise. Because of this stagnation it amplifies one of the most depreciating problems in the regions, individual poverty. The poverty experienced in Central Appalachia could get worse. In third world countries, like Somalia and South Africa, the people live in abject poverty. That is where they are so poor that they are on the brink of death, where if something bad happens, there is no back-up plan. Central Appalachian poverty in 2009 has not reached such a low level. However, if the current drivers of poverty do not cease, there is a great probability that it will happen.
  15. 15. Poverty Trends Figure 1.10 U.S.A. Kentucky Tenn. Virginia W.V. 90,000 80,000 Median-Income for Four-Person Families (in dollars) 70,000 60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 0 1980 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2003 2005 2007 Year
  16. 16. Poverty Trends In figure 1.11 (information homogenous industries. All from the labor of bureau of these limit growth and statistics) employment opportunities. Kentucky‘s, Tennessee‘s and West Virginia‘s median Virginia is the only Central incomes are never once Appalachian state whose above the median income as median income exceeds the a whole. These three states United State‘s. This can be make up the heaviest part linked to the fact that very Central Appalachia and also little of Virginia is actually a are the most deeply affected part of Central Appalachia by coal mining. and the rest of the state is Therefore, they are victims more economically to such problems like diversified. mechanization, environment al degradation and
  17. 17. Figure 1.11 Environmental Degradation Child Poverty (Common, violent destruction of the (When a child begins their land, mostly due to mountaintop life in poverty, it is hard for removal, causes tax money to be diverted them to come out of it, thus for fixing these environmental problems keeping them in a cycle of instead funding education. It also poor.) damages infrastructure, which limits the growth/addition of new business in the region.) Power Inequalities (occurs between elites- Unemployment/Low paying jobs upper class and politicians-and the Drivers of working class, who do not have the same level Central of financial power. Appalachian Poverty
  18. 18. Poverty: Unemployment/Low paying jobs Central Appalachia does not stand alone in their amount of chronic, rural poverty. South Africa faces an eerily miners employed in Central Appalachia. Most of similar situation, that should serve as a forewarning this was to the Central Appalachian region. due to the mechanization of surface mining. Because of Elizabeth Francis writes that one of the biggest the prominence of the mining industry drivers of South Africa‘s poverty is ―historically though, there are not a lot of options for other generated power inequalities.‖ In Central employment (Coal Appalachia, power inequalities thrive. The coal Mining Productivity by State). mines dominate much of the region; they hire thousands, own much of the land, and support Once unemployment like this strike, it can fuel many of the region‘s political candidates. The same other drivers that maintain unemployment and circumstances occur in South Africa: the region ―is consequently, poverty. When one loses a job it dominated by an alliance between can trigger depression and/or substance abuse. industrial, financial and mining capital…with As these problems progress, it becomes less landowners playing a less important role.‖ They likely that the individual find a new job because too have an abundance of valuable resources; there is just not much a market for South Africa‘s coal is platinum and mining has depressed, substance abusers. As Central been a big industry there as well, especially Appalachia has little funds to rehabilitate throughout the 1970‘s and 1980‘s.Its people, it can deepen this cycle (Bishop). mechanization dominated the land, stole jobs from the farmers, and squeezed the mineral rights out of the landowners. Combined these situations reduce the amount of jobs available in South Africa and consequently, the amount of money the working citizens make. Since the 1977 signing of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA), mountaintop removal
  19. 19. Unemployment Trends Figure 1.12 USA Kentucky Tenn. Virginia W.V. 20 18 16 Annual Average Unemployment Percentage 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 1980 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2008 Year
  20. 20. Poverty: additional drivers As seen in figure 1.12 (information from the the Bureau of Labor Statistics), until percent of adults with college degrees 2003,West Virginia, Kentucky and increased from 10.4% to 14.8% Tennessee all have higher (Socioeconomic Data). unemployment rates than the United States‘ average. Virginia has a lower rate Even though West Virginia improved than the country‘s average, but once their unemployment rate, their again, it is important to remember how poverty still remains dismal, like the little of Virginia actually makes up rest of the Central Appalachian Central Appalachia, and region. This can be connected back thus, suffers the same problems. to the problem of an undiversified West Virginia manages to maintain business economy. Without an unemployment rate lower than opportunities for high-paying the United States‘ average in 2005. jobs, besides mining foreman, there is little hope that Central This improvement can be attributed to Appalachians can bring themselves the increase of education attainment in out of poverty. the state. From 1980 to 2000, the percent of adults with high school diplomas jumped from 56% to 75.2%;
  21. 21. Figure 1.13 2020 2030 2040 Central Appalachia has reached Poverty rates continue to abject poverty. 1 in 4 children increase for West are dying of starvation. A new Virginia, Tennessee and It has become harder for global pandemic, Dinosaur Kentucky, and people spend Central Appalachians to buy flu, spreads, but Central less on medicine and health any food and starvation Appalachia does not have the care, less on healthy foods rates increase. funds for proper medical care. and their health declines. The people are so unhealthy already that this flu wipes out 20% of the population. The only people with college degrees are The tax base for Central teachers, mining engineers The percent of adults with and some of the town‘s Appalachia declines and college degrees plummet. more people apply for mayors. There is less Higher education has government funds, but do money coming into become unaffordable for the not get the money they need government than can go out majority of families and because there are so many to serve the community. those who can finance people who are demanding Roads go into disrepair and college, move out of the it. only a fraction of people region. can attain a basic level of health care,.
  22. 22. Chapter One Works Cited Bishop, Bill. quot;As Poverty Worsens in Appalachia, So Do Drug Abuse and Depression.quot; Dailly Yonder. Aug. 2008. 26 Apr. 2009 < poverty-worsens-appalachia- so-do- drug-abuse-and-depression>. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Local Area Unemployment Statistics. 22 Apr. 2009 < lau/>. Calhoun, Jennifer. quot;Archives dispel Appalachian stereotypes.quot; East Tenessean. Nov. 2004. 24 Apr. 2009< festyle/ Archives.Dispel.Appalachian.Stereotypes-789117.shtml>. quot;Coal Mining Productivity by State and Mine Type .quot; Energy Information Administration . Sept. 2008. U.S. Government. 30 Apr. 2009 <>. Countdown with Keith Olberman. MSNBC. Nov. 2008. 30 Apr. 2009 < watch?v=JtelwDgX5Mc>. Francis, Elizabeth. Poverty: Causes, Responses and Consequences in Rural South Africa. Development Destin Studies Institue, 2006. 26 Apr. 2009 < 60Francis.pdf>. quot;Socioeconomic Data.quot; Appalachian Regional Commission. 2000. 21 Apr. 2009 <> The O'Reilly Factor. Fox News. New York. Feb. 2009. Transcript. 30 Apr. 2009
  23. 23. The Future of Education in Appalachia Chapter 2: We Don’t Need No Edumucation BY: JOHN CHENAULT
  24. 24. Collapse: Education The socioeconomic plight of Appalachia has Explaining the regions difficulties as examined in been well documented. As one of the 1960, Ronald Eller explains ―Per capita Nation‘s poorest regions having many assessments on property in the mountains unemployed and struggling just to stay alive. averaged 38 percent less than comparable national Ron Eller, in his book Uneven Ground: assessments. Per pupil expenditures for education Appalachia Since 1945, articulates the cause in Appalachia were about half those in the rest of of many of the region‘s woes: ―Low per the country‖ (Eller 31). Resulting education capita incomes reflect[s] a labor force that is reform focused on trying to bring more money to largely uneducated‖ (Eller 31). Most the schools of the region. Reform in the late 1980s observers of the history of Appalachia point and 90s equalized funding in many school districts to education as a primary cause of many and helps allocate money to install the troubles in the region. These include technologies necessary for schools of the joblessness, poverty levels, drug approaching decades after major education Today, two 21st century. addiction, and crime. Attempts to reform the system in the 1960s reform in Appalachia, the region still lags and, again, in the late 1980s and early 90s were nationally in many socioeconomic areas. Figure aimed at the funding of the regions schools. The 1.1 is a graph showing the number of families poorer school districts throughout in poverty by state. States of Central Appalachia, lacking tax base and damaged by Appalachia are highlighted with red: political patronage throughout the school Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennessee. As of system, have always trailed areas outside the 2007, these three Appalachian states rank region. among the highest nationally and well above the national average of 9.5 percent.
  25. 25. Figure 2.1: Families in Poverty Figure 2.2 is even more telling about the regions educational situation. It graphs the percent of 18 to 64 year olds who have just a high school diploma or less, and are living in families with incomes below a living wage. Again, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennessee are highlighted in red; they all rank among the top ten nationally. Figure 1.2: Percent of 18 to 64 Year Olds Who Have Just a High School Diploma or Less, and are Living in Families with Income Below a Living Wage Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 American Community Survey Source: 2007 American Community Survey
  26. 26. Education: shifting the burden The numbers above may suggest that the schools systems reinforce the problem. in Appalachian states continue to trail nationally. Some might suggest legislation to inject more money into the First, as we modernize our school systems we alienate the regions education systems. Appalachian school systems poorer, rural students who have less access to modern may have needed more money allocated during the culture. Also, the consolidation of high schools has made education reforms of the 20th century, but today education it harder for rural students to get to school activities reform must be different. Leaders addressing problems in making them among the first students to drop out. These education today continue to try to bring in more money for first two side effects show that many of the changes made struggling school districts. More attempts to inject money in schools help those who least need it and harm those into the education systems would fall under the ―Shifting who are already disadvantaged. the Burden‖ archetype defined by Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline. Another side effect of past attempts to reform education is the tendency for the most educated people to leave the The ―Shifting the Burden‖ archetype holds that short-term region. Figure 2.3 shows the ―Shifting the Burden‖ archetype with Appalachia‘s traditional education reform fixes hinder the solving of the fundamental (long-term) model on top in the section labeled ―Symptomatic problem. Legislators have fallen into a cycle by which Solution.‖ A fundamental element of the ―Shifting the they respond to the symptoms of a problem (low test Burden‖ archetype is that symptomatic solutions reinforce scores and low educational achievement) with a short-term fix (the allocation of money to build school infrastructure further reliance. As schools receive more and more and buy technology). When the government allocates updates and monies more and more successful students money to education we see the results in the form of new move away and ever more troubled students continue to schools and new stuff. This may be accompanied with struggle (including their children). Each year, as education some short-term successes such as higher standardized test levels remain low, the school systems of Appalachia will scores, more students with high school diplomas and more request more funding for more stuff—and the cycle students in college but the fundamental problem continues indefinitely. The inability to retain the educated resurfaces: Appalachian people remain among the least- is causing a net loss of people who live and are employed educated citizens of the United States. This happens in the region with higher education. because the solution offered creates some side effects that
  27. 27. Figure 2.3: Shifting the Burden
  28. 28. Jim Dator, of the Manoa School of Future Studies, defines a collapse scenario not only as an image where the world ends, but can be a scenario where a system ceases to function as efficiently or as it was intended to function. Collapse can be complete nothingness and total loss or, as Dator explains, it can be ―simply revert[ing] to a lower level of economic and social activity‖ (Dator Podcast). I will show that a collapse scenario already exists when applied to Appalachia‘s education situation. Additionally, I will give a total collapse scenario in which the region ceases to exist. Current Collapse in the System Defining collapse as when a system ceases to function as it should, Appalachia is experiencing collapse at this very moment. The states of central Appalachia (defined in the portion as KY, WV and TN) have steadily educated more of their citizenry. A 2007 U.S. Census Bureau survey shows that among folks aged 65 and older, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennessee rank in the bottom five nationally in attainment of a high school diploma. Among people aged 44 to 65, the same three states improve, but still rank among the bottom ten nationally. More folks in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennessee aged 25 to 34 attained a high school diploma. Kentucky and West Virginia both rank above the national average in high school attainment rates for people aged 25 to 34. The numbers just discussed are shown below in figures 2.4, 2.5, and 2.6. Relevant states are highlighted in red. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS) Figure 2.4: Percent of Adults 65 and Older with a High School Diploma
  29. 29. Figure 2.5: Percent of Adults 45 to 64 with a High School Diploma Figure 2.6: Percent of Adults 25 to 34 with a High School Diploma Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS) (ACS)
  30. 30. Education Figures 2.4,2.5, and 2.6 show that education reform As of now, states of central Appalachia has led to the states of Appalachia educating more of (KY, WV, and TN) are educated people at higher its population; the information shows education rates than ever. More people in the region are attainment in a generational order. Using this attaining high school diplomas and are going to information, I am assuming that the schools of the college. Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennessee region are able to educate and prepare students for all rank above the national average in state and higher education. But poverty local support for higher education. A State Higher rates, joblessness, healthcare problems and lack of Education Executive Offices (SHEEO) survey business still plague Appalachia. The answer can be shows that Kentucky provides $9.60 per $1,000 of explained by the amount of jobs available in the personal income for higher education. West science, technology, engineering, and mathematics Virginia offers $8.51 per $1,000 of personal occupations. Jobs in these fields are most relevant and income; Tennessee provides $7.28 per $1,000 of needed compete in the modern globalized economy. personal income for higher education. These statistics help gauge the size and scope of a state‘s Kentucky, West Virginia, and Tennessee all rank in the bottom ten nationally and well below the national effort to support higher education. The states average in terms of percent of their population discussed are clearly doing so. What these states employed in the science, technology, engineering, and are not doing is attracting modern businesses to mathematics occupations. The data is shown below in retain the people that they educate (particularly in figure 3.4. For the most part, jobs in these areas are the fields of science, technology, engineering, and higher paying than other occupations and are mathematics). The net loss of people employed in associated with a strong and vibrant high-technology occupations in these fields is a collapse scenario. economy ready for business in the 21st century. States Figure 2.7 shows the percent of the workforce that score high in this measure are those most likely to employed in science, technology, engineering, and attract highly-skilled college-educated people; in-state mathematics. Kentucky, Tennessee, and West
  31. 31. Figure 2.7: Percent Employment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Occupations Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (ACS)
  32. 32. Figure 2.8 is a diagram showing how the characteristics of a state‘s workforce and economy are made. The characteristics of the workforce, which determines the economic conditions in the state, are determined by entrants into the workforce and the characteristics of the in-migrants. The state‘s workforce loses the characteristics of the out-migrants. If the characteristics of the out-migrants include education in occupations that are higher paying and relevant in the modern market (i.e. science, technology, etc.) and the in-migrants don‘t make up this difference, a collapse of the system has occurred. Eventually, total collapse and destruction will occur. Figure 2.8: A State‟s Workforce and Economy Source:
  33. 33. Total Collapse: education the ones who are unable to adapt to the requirements of the new economy. The video clip hyperlinked below was made for the ten year As Appalachia loses more and more educated anniversary of postsecondary education reform in citizens, the entire system will begin to suffer at an Kentucky. It offers insights into Kentucky‘s increasing rate. Businesses in the region relevant education and workforce goals and explains the and fit for survival in the modern, globalized value of higher education as it relates to jobs and economy will decline until there are no more. Less business. educated Appalachians will stay in Appalachia as •Video: 10 Year Anniversary of Kentucky there aren‘t jobs appropriate for higher levels of Postsecondary Reform (view from 08:00-9:42) education; this creates an exponential loss rate of • educated people. Appalachia offers little in the way of globalized businesses, thus, there are little opportunities for the well-educated. ―Graduate and The states of Appalachia must strive to attract the professional schools and institutions for scientific businesses necessary to retain the students it and medical research [are] scarce in Appalachia, educates and, perhaps, attract educated people leaving most of the region‘s professionals to be from out-of-state. Kentucky wants to double the educated outside the mountains and denying number of people with bachelorette degrees by localities the economic, (educational) and civic 2020. If Kentucky achieves this, experts predict benefits that such institutions (and people) provide that state revenue will increase by $9 billion and to dynamic communities‖ (Eller 111). per capita income will increase $140 billion. Increasing the amount of students a state educates Without the infrastructure and businesses is one way to increase the odds of retaining necessary to attract and keep smart people, educated people, but there are other ways to Appalachia will continue to lose the people it has compete with other states in the global economy. strived so hard to educate and remain stuck with
  34. 34. Post, notes in her 2009 article ―Rural Riddle: Do Jobs Follow Broadband Access: A Broadband Access‖ that ― residents with limited exposure to technology and low education levels may struggle to meet the job qualifications of tech-sector positions‖ Possible Leverage Point ( Providing high-Internet should be only one step (and a possible leverage point) in an ongoing process aimed at attracted educated Senge, in The Fifth Discipline, defines a leverage point as something people. The Internet must be met with an increase in the educated that requires little effort but produces a lot of action or results. population of the region. Broadband can help jump-start an economy. Kentucky, West Virginia, and the rest of Appalachia could help attract Some promoters of increased broadband access cite the Appalachian the needed workforce by making the environment right for educated town of Lebanon, Virginia as an example of how broadband can people. Any national or international business competitor must have change an economy. Rep. Rick Boucher and then-Governor Mark R. access to the Internet. Businesses must be connected to the world, Warner helped get $2.3 million in grants to bring fiber-optic cables to and doing that is much easier than in the past. Businesses in home and businesses in the city. The defense contractor Northrop Appalachia have historically followed the interstate highways and set Grumman and software-maker CGI soon placed businesses there and up close to them. Before the Internet it was much more necessary to created jobs for around 700 people with an average salary of $50,000 be physically close to the market. Today, with speed and convenience a year. ―It [also] helped that district planners at the same time of the World Wide Web, businesses are less reliant on being converted an old strip mall to a training center that allowed residents physically close to important clients. While the internet may be a to get their high school equivalency diplomas and prepare for jobs as potential leverage point in the system, bringing high-speed Internet to technicians and information technology workers‖ an under-educated region can be a complicated process. Some note ( Attracted the right jobs and people that the socioeconomic conditions don‘t always favor adding the is a process that must be addressed at many levels; that is, many Internet. For instance, some residents may not see the advantage of factors must align for real progress to be made. Figure 4.1 below Figure 2.9: Location of Lebanon be able to afford the subscription being online and other may not shows the location of Lebanon, the broadband success story. required for service. Cecilia Kang, a staff writer for the Washington Source:
  35. 35. Attracting the Creative Class: Other Factors innovation. The last ‗T‘ is tolerance. This is the most challenging Discouraging Educated People from Staying in the issue to the Appalachia. The region has long been heralded as a bastion of backwardness and limited tolerance. Florida contends that Region the creative people needed to attract modern business prefer to work in environments that are open to all. For example, Florida uses the Richard Florida, in his book The Rise of the Creative Gay Index to measure an areas openness and level of diversity. With Class, defines the people I have identified the people who work in the the logic that since integrating gays into mainstream society has been occupations I defined as beneficial to the region (in science, so difficult, he assumes areas that welcome gays welcome all people. technology, etc.) as members of the ―Creative Class.‖ He explains, Most educated people place value on this. For Appalachian towns and ―This book describes the emergence of a new social class. If you are a cities becoming more diverse would be nearly impossible. Low scientist, an architect or designer…or if you use creativity as a key educational attainment rates and a high rate of Christian factor in your work in business, education, health care, law or some fundamentalism discourage almost anyone who is different, much less other profession, you are a member‖ (Florida xxvii). Florida contends homosexuals, from living in the region. that these people are attracted to locations that offer similar things. A Conclusion number of the regions that attract the most creative people are those that have major universities, research facilities and governments that support attracting creative class businesses and, thus, more creative To compete and remain relevant in the global economy Appalachian class people. These places are not necessarily the large cities. Areas leaders and citizens must strive to increase not only the amount of like Gainesville, Florida and Hartford, Connecticut harbor some of people it educates, but must increase the amount of educated people the largest concentrations of these people, so Appalachia is not out of that live and work in the region. Currently, a collapse scenario is the running because of its location and lack of population. Creative taking place as Appalachia loses more educated folks than it gains places are also not limited to established high-technology and cultural annually. An eventual total destruction scenario will occur if this centers—so Appalachia can improve. Florida notes that significant trend continues. The availability of jobs in the region will shrink. As a competitive advantage goes to areas that already have concentrations result, the tax base will decrease and infrastructure will suffer. Less of the class. Additionally, regions that harbor large concentrations of businesses and educated people will inhabit the region. In an extreme working and service class jobs are at a considerable disadvantage. If situation, without federal or state legislative interference, the region Appalachia wishes to compete, the region must attract more creative could totally die. Downtown Detroit‘s infrastructure and business people. Areas with high concentrations of creative class workers tend state can serve as a model for what happens in a total economic to support high-tech businesses, so broadband access and the collapse. The area produced too many working class jobs and not attraction of high-tech businesses is crucial to improving the enough jobs in creative areas such as science, technology, and demographic. Florida contends that creative people are attracted to mathematics. This led to collapse of the system evidenced by areas with high technology, talent and tolerance; what he labels the Detroit‘s crumbling infrastructure. three ‗T‘s‘. High technology is present to harbor large, globalized
  36. 36. Chapter Two Works Cited Eller, Ronald. Uneven Ground; The History of Appalachia Since 1945. Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 2008. Florida, Richard. The Rise of the Creative Class. New York: Basic Books, 2002. Senge, Peter. The Fifth Discipline. New York: Doubleday, 1990.
  37. 37. Politics and Collapse in Appalachia Chapter 3: Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely BY: BETHANY BARGO
  38. 38. Political Road to Collapse worse, unnoticed because the symptoms Peter Senge, in his book The Fifth apparently clear up, and the system loses Discipline, defines an archetype called shifting the burden as ―an underlying whatever abilities it had to solve the underlying problem‖ (Senge 103). Who is problem that generates symptoms that this someone that shifts the burden when demand attention but the underlying they ―fix‖ the problem? It is Appalachia‘s problem is difficult for people to address so people ‗shift the burden‘ of their problems to finest, political elites who will hinder an entire region as long as they‘re in power. other solutions-well intentioned, easy fixes which seem extremely efficient‖ (103). The rest of the nation is moving forward while this region is staying stagnant. The residents of Appalachia have been Political elites will personally drive the bus surrounded by this archetype for most of to the world of Appalachian collapse. their lives. A problem presents itself, someone tries to combat it by coming up with quick fixes like trying to use gum to stop a leak. On the surface it appears that the problem is being addressed however, ―the underlying problem grows
  39. 39. Political Road to Collapse: Vision 2040 • The political road to collapse leads to Appalachia in 2040. There are no more mountains, only level reminders of where a mountain once stood. It‘s beauty has been destroyed and can only be found in historical pictures • The area is more similar to a third world country, with pockets of drug abuse and 8th grade level education. The stereotypes are the same and no one seems to care. • The rest of the world is 100 steps ahead and Appalachia will never catch up. Alternative energy has flooded the once coal enriched economy and the skills of the coal mine have not been replaced. • The federal government used to care however there are more important issues on the agenda. • However, one thing remains constant. One thing has not changed for 30 years or longer. The local and state political structures in Appalachia will gain power at any cost. They live in the mansions up on the hill while their voting base can not even afford to live in anything strong enough to support insulation. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. • The political structure looks more like a dictatorship than a democracy.
  40. 40. Political trends that lead to the collapse of Appalachia in the year 2040
  41. 41. Political Road to Collapse • The History of the (ARC) Appalachian Regional Commission – According to the commission‘s website, ―In 1960, the Region's governors formed the Conference of Appalachian Governors to develop a regional approach to resolving these problems. In 1961, they took their case to newly elected President John F. Kennedy, who had been deeply moved by the poverty he saw during campaign trips to West Virginia.‖ – The website also states that ―in 1963 Kennedy formed a federal-state committee that came to be known as the President's Appalachian Regional Commission (PARC), and directed it to draw up quot;a comprehensive program for the economic development of the Appalachian Region‖ • Some conditions that were facing the Appalachian region at that time were ―One of every three Appalachians lived in poverty, per capita income was 23 percent lower than the U.S. average, and high unemployment and harsh living conditions had, in the 1950s, forced more than 2 million Appalachians to leave their homes and seek work in other regions.‖ (
  42. 42. Political Road to Collapse The conditions facing the Appalachian region in 1963, the year According to the ARC, ―While the ARC was created, are the same significant strides have been made conditions facing Appalachia today. since the mid 1960s, one fifth of the 46 years later, no change, what gives? counties in Appalachia are still The programs enacted by the ARC considered distressed. Figure 3.1 on were not bad, however the region has the next slide shows the geographic been left in the wrong hands. locations of these 82 counties, and an apparent pattern does seem to exist in their location and concentration south According to Dr. Ronald Eller in his and west in the region.‖ book titled Uneven Ground ―five years after the ARC creation, low- income people in the sixty poorest counties in central Appalachia remained almost untouched by the commission‘s programs‖ (191)
  43. 43. Political Road to Collapse Figure 3.1 In 2040 the entire region will be distressed.
  44. 44. Political Road to Collapse: history of political efforts For years politicians have tried the area, President Johnson their best to donate the best known demanded a war on poverty during efforts to alleviate the problems in the State of the Union address on Appalachia. It dates as far back as January 8, 1964. ( President John F. Kennedy who personally ―telephoned the newly See President Johnsons Special elected governor of Message to Congress about the War Kentucky, Edward ―Ned‖ on Poverty Breathitt, and assured him that the White House would follow through on its commitment to Appalachia‖ According to Dr. Ronald Eller in (Eller 75). his book titled Uneven Ground, ―Johnson understood the political benefits of government The commitment from President investment in local poverty Kennedy never reached it programs, especially in the fulfillment due to his assassination South, where white leaders were in November 1963, however Vice resisting federal civil rights President Lyndon B. Johnson was pressures‖ (76). right behind him to follow his lead. Perhaps setting the tone for politicians and motivations toward
  45. 45. Political Road to Collapse: history of political efforts domino effect that is still in place in The War on Poverty was a quick fix Appalachia today. According to Kent for the problems in Appalachia. In Germany of the University of Virginia January 1968, Appalachia was still President Nixon ―endorsed a ‗New termed as a ―forgotten land‖ (Eller Federalism‘ in which the federal 154). According to reporter Peter Schrag, ―in the seven years since John governments shifted more authority over social welfare enterprises to state F. Kennedy had drawn national and local government‖ and thus the attention to the region, grand solutions problem worsens (2). Once the power have soured into new problems, the over social welfare enterprises was exploitation of land and people turned over to the state and local continues, and even the best and most governments of Appalachia, the area hopeful efforts are jeopardized by was controlled on every level by ugly political machines all too close to home‖ (Eller 154). Where did the political powerhouses. For Kentucky Governor Breathitt, ―the War on political machines come from? Poverty was dead‖ (Eller 156). When Richard Nixon took over the Presidency, he continued the movement and perhaps set off the
  46. 46. Political Road to Collapse • What are social welfare enterprises? – According to Dr. Ronald Eller, ―not only had government programs enlarged the number of politically dependent jobs, but Medicare and Medicaid had proven to be a boon for local druggists and physicians‖ (157). – ―Grocers welcomed expanding food stamp programs and checks for welfare, disability, and retirement flooded into county banks each month‖ (Eller 157) • The political elites of Appalachia benefited from the social welfare enterprise more than anyone, even those the programs were ―supposed‖ to help. – Doctors make a lot of money and reelection campaigns cost a lot of money. Dr. Eller writes how ―mountain physicians had long held influential positions in local politics and often were among the principal investors in local land development efforts.‖ (35) – The creation of such an enterprise is the quick fix made by political elites to make it appear as though Appalachia is making strides when really all that is happening is the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.
  47. 47. Political Road to Collapse • ―The seeds of change and resistance had been planted‖ by the War on Poverty ―and even as government-sponsored funds for fighting poverty began to tighten, a wave of dissent washed across the mountains that would dramatize the depth of the region‘s problems and reframe the debate over regional disparity for years to come‖ (Eller 132). • ―For some Appalachian elites, managing poverty was more acceptable than fighting it and sometimes more rewarding‖ (Eller 157) • The regional disparity mentioned by Dr. Eller above continued to plague the Appalachian region through the course of 2010, 2020, 2030, and eventually lead to the ultimate collapse in 2040. It turned out to be true that managing poverty was definitely more acceptable and rewarding, but it also proved to be the easiest way too. When the region can no longer lean on coal, the political elites stand by and watch their own wealth grow as the region digresses because no one will pay to educate the unemployed.
  48. 48. Political Road to Collapse: State and Local Government in Appalachia (2009)The nation is coming off of a historical political turning point however Appalachia may be more concerned at the moment with the upcoming local elections. One would think that maybe the mayor or state representative would be of great importance to a local in the elections. Think again. It seems that ―County Judge Executive [is] easily the most important political office to most voters in the region‖ (
  49. 49. Political Road to Collapse • Judge executives control many jobs throughout a community. They also control the improvement and/or construction of local roads. • Robert Ireland referred to Kentucky‘s 120 counties as ―little kingdoms‖ ( The elected officials are the kings and queens while the citizens remain in the working class. The money they earn goes towards making ―improvements‖ in the officials popularity, not in the area itself. • The office of judge executive is in control of millions of county dollars.
  50. 50. Political Road to Collapse • John Gaventa had a way of describing power in his book Power and Powerlessness which is described below. • The elite versus the non-elite equals power versus powerlessness. • In this case, the elite (A) determines/influences what the non-elite (B) want. The elite County Judge Executive has a job opening. The non-elite, out of work citizen needs the job, however their family was on the opposite end of the voting spectrum during the last election. ―A‖ has the ability to determine what ―B‖ wants when re-election rolls around.
  51. 51. Political Road to Collapse • Just how much power do they have? • According to the website, Judge Executives control jobs such as ―receptionists, solid waste management, 911 directors, Deputy Judge Executive, economic development positions.‖ • Jobs such as these are definitely important in small counties in Appalachia. They could very well determine whether someone has to rely on the social welfare enterprises or if they will earn themselves the food they put on the table for dinner. Those in power tend to offer the jobs up to a friend of a friend-someone they owe a favor to because they helped them out during campaign season. Citizens of Appalachia can not catch up to the rest of the nation when their own political authorities dictate whether they will have a job or rely on food stamps and a medical card. • In fact, ―the combination of a good word from the county judge executive and a certification of disability from the local doctor was almost certain to convince the Department of Social Welfare to approve a monthly check and to obligate the claimant to the local political machine as well‖ (Eller 35).
  52. 52. Political Road to Collapse • Did you know: – ―Four serving or former Eastern Kentucky County Judge Executives over the past few years have gone to prison-two from Knott County, one from Knox County, and one from Perry County‖ ( – ―Five Clay County Kentucky officials, including the circuit court judge, the country clerk, and election officers were arrested Thursday after they were indicted on federal charges accusing them of using corrupt tactics to obtain political power and personal gain‖ ( – The lack of trust in the political structure leads to collapse of the political democracy (if one can even call it that) into a complete political dictatorship. Incomes, employment, land ownership, road improvement, clean water, etc is all predetermined by the powerful.
  53. 53. Political Road to Collapse • During the tough economic times, many elected officials, including President Obama tried to show support for the country by decreasing the amount of bonuses or raises received. This seems to show the country trending away from the trickle down affect that has plagued the Appalachian area for so many decades which creates an even wider gap between Appalachia and the rest of the world. • Dr. Eller wrote of this in his book which was published in 2008 before the elections were even over. It appears that Appalachians have dealt with this political gap more than once. Dr. Eller says ―mountain residents had always felt a sense of separateness from mainstream society that reinforced their passion for freedom and independence‖ and he attributes the reinforced ―pride in things local and familiar‖ from political elites as a ―pretext to resist change and eventually it was utilized by mountain elites to maintain long, established political dynasties‖ (245). • It isn‘t that Appalachians do not want change, it is that they are told that change is not what they want. Political elites seem to use the motto ―if it ain‘t broke don‘t fix it.‖ In their world, Appalachia is not broken-they thrive although the area is collapsing.
  54. 54. Political Road to Collapse • A prime example of a political elite in Appalachia is the Governor of West Virginia Joe Manchin. – Manchin was recently re-elected to his second term in 2008. • Here is what Governor Manchin had to say when he addressed the West Virginia Public Employees Union UE Local 170 who were rallying for a pay raise: – ―I would think they would be tickled to death to have a job, to have a good paycheck, and a benefits package‖ ( • In an economy like that of 2009, that seems to be a pretty logical statement. If you were to ask someone who was just laid off from their job, they would probably be content to just have a job, much less a raise. • According to the Charleston Gazette, ―Manchin said he respects the right of public employees to rally for a pay raise, says it is all part of the legislative process, but that state employees should be consider themselves lucky at the moment to have a secure job‖ ( – Manchin also stated that ―many private-sector workers and public employees in other states are ‗scared to death‘ that they may lose their job‖ ( • Again, this is a prime example of an elite determining what a non-elite wants.
  55. 55. Political Road to Collapse • Here was Governor Manchin‘s response to his executive staff‟s, as well as his own pay raise: – According to the Charleston Gazette ―Manchin said he was justified in giving seven members of his executive staff pay raises of 12% or more, because of additional responsibilities they are taking on in the second term of his administration‖ ( – Governor Manchin increased his own salary by $55,000, from $95,000 to $150,000 a year. ( – Who exactly needs that much of a raise? Maybe a governor who owns a $2 million dollar private plane! • Appalachians are partially responsible for electing Governor Manchin not once but twice. The lack of education, especially in the political arena would explain this. Most Appalachians grow up and vote a certain way because it is how their father or mother voted. As the area becomes even less educated in 2040, Appalachian states all acquire governors like this.
  56. 56. Political Road to Collapse • National Politics Leaving Appalachia Behind – In the 21st century as the rest of the world focuses on clean coal, alternative energy, mass technology, and the outsourcing of jobs, the gap between Appalachia and the rest of America widens. – It is no surprise that coal is a big economic crutch in the Appalachian region however changes in energy capabilities are hindering the region. Dr. Eller stated that ―changes in the coal industry had been at the core of central Appalachia‘s economic distress since WWII. The introduction of new technologies had given rise to massive unemployment in the underground mines and to the emergence of surface mining practices that left the landscape scarred and degraded‖ (144). – As the nation moves toward an alternative energy approach, Appalachia will move closer to collapse. According to the website, the ―earnings of the top five U.S. coal producers more than doubled in 2008.‖ – According to Marianne Lavelle‘s article on the website, the top 5 coal producers in the U.S. are Peabody Energy (1), Arch Coal (2), Rio Tinto Energy America (3), Foundation Coal (4), and CONSOL Energy (5). The following graph shows their record profits for 2008. Figure 3.2
  57. 57. Political Road to Collapse Coal Mining Record Profits 2008 350000 300000 Profits received in 2008 250000 200000 150000 100000 50000 0 1 2 3 4 5 Top 5 Coal Producers in U.S. Figure 3.2 Money in the bank while the region suffers
  58. 58. Political Road to Collapse • The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) is ―a collection of 48 mining, rail, manufacturing, and power companies with an annual budget of over $45 million which is three times larger than the coal industry‘s previous lobby and PR groups‖ (Lavelle). (See Figure 3.3) • If history serves us right, politicians will follow the money trail, which apparently leads to the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity. With further support from politicians on a local level, the practice of producing clean coal could set the Appalachian region even further back. There is not anything wrong will trying to produce a more environmentally friendly type of energy, however political elites will not spend the time nor money to retrain so many Appalachians who know only the traditional skill of coal mining by mountain top removal.
  59. 59. Political Road to Collapse Clean Coal Campaign Funding 350000 300000 250000 Amount Donated 200000 150000 100000 50000 0 Figure 3.3 Recipients A trend that will change the nation Record_Profits.pdf
  60. 60. Political Road to Collapse • Beginning in 2009, President Obama has taken steps to move away from old policies on mountain top removal. – President Obama made ―a decision to suspend and review permits for two mountaintop removal mining operations, an action that effectively suspends more than 100 additional valley fill permits that threaten to bury hundreds more miles of headwater streams and destroy dozens more Appalachian mountains‖ ( This is good for the environment but bad for the job market in Appalachia. Political elites will find another way to increase their fortune, however Appalachians will continue to rely on social welfare enterprises. • ―The National Mine Association is already issuing sky-is-falling predictions of job losses if permits to stop mountain top removal are not issued immediately‖ ( • ―The Department of Energy projects Central Appalachia coal production will decline 25% in the next decade, and it is common knowledge that the Appalachian coal industry is undergoing a steep decline simply because the highest quality and easiest access to coal seams have long since been mined out‖ (
  61. 61. Political Road to Collapse • Although President Obama has set the reverse of mountain top removal in motion, local political elites will not give up that easily. – ―A controversial mountain top removal mine in Eastern Kentucky was approved the day after the Environmental Protection Agency said it was going to review such permits‖ ( The tug of war between local government in Appalachia and the federal government in Washington D.C. will continue while the Appalachian citizens pay the price. • The choice Appalachians have is to A.)comply with President Obama, forgo mountain top removal, and lose thousands of jobs without receiving any training in any other fields or B.) continue mountain top removal and forsake their land and environment, as well as their health and well being. That is not much choice to have. • Figure 3.4 on the following page showed ―that the region where mountain top removal occurs scored the lowest of any region in the nation for their ‗Index of Well Being.‘ Three Congressional Districts in Southwest Virginia, Eastern Kentucky, and Southern West Virginia where more than 90% of mountain top removal operations are located were all among the bottom 2% of districts in the Gallup Survey‖ (
  62. 62. Political Road to Collapse According to the website, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Mississippi are ranked as the 48th, 49th, and 50th lowest well being states. Well being is ―the index score for the nation and for each state is an average of six sub-indexes, which individually examine life evaluation, healthy behaviors, work environment, physical health, emotional health, and access to basic necessities. The questions in each sub-index are asked nightly of 1,000 national adults, aged 18 and older.‖ The political elite are definitely not listed in this group. In fact, in 2040 the well-being will be worse and the political elites will be as powerful as ever. Figure 3.4
  63. 63. Political Road to Collapse In summary, by 2040 the political structure in Appalachia will be a complete dictatorship. Some would argue that is no different from today. However, what will have changed is the type of people under their rule. Due to political corruption, the only individuals left in the area will be uneducated, untrained, out of work citizens who will make whatever living they can off of social welfare enterprises, that keep them forever chained to the political hierarchy that exists.
  64. 64. Chapter Three Works Cited quot;ARC | History.quot; ARC | Appalachian Regional Commission. 27 Apr. 2009 <>. quot;Election Fraud in Kentucky.quot; Schneirer on Security. 24 Mar. 2009 <>. quot;Election 2010: Appalachian Kentucky County Judge Executive Roundup.quot; Cyberhillbilly. 07 Apr. 2009 <>. Eller, Ronald D. Uneven ground Appalachia since 1945. Lexington: University P of Kentucky, 2008. Faculty Web Sites at the University of Virginia. 25 Apr. 2009 < f>. Gaventa, John. Power and Powerlessness Quiescence & Rebellion in an Appalachian Valley. New York: University of Illinois P, 1982. quot;Governor Joe Manchin is Lucky to Have a Job (And a New Airplane).quot; 17 Feb. 2009 <>. Halsall, Paul. quot;Modern History Sourcebook: President Lyndon B. Johnson: The War on Poverty, March 1964.quot; 29 Apr. 2009 <>. quot;Hope Is Alive in Appalachia: President Obama breaks with the Bush Administration policy on mountaintop removal coal mining.quot; 24 Mar. 2009 <>. Lavelle, Marianne. quot;The 'Clean Coal' Lobbying Blitz.quot; 20 Apr. 2009 <>. Mead, Andy. quot;Leslie County mine permit approved; environmentalists appeal to Obama.quot; 28 Mar. 2009 <>. Senge, Peter M. The Fifth Discipline The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization. New York: Currency, 2006. Siegel, Robert. quot;Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty.quot; NPR. 29 Apr. 2009 <>.
  65. 65. The Future of Drugs in Appalachia Chapter 4: A Burger With a Side of Xanex BY: STEVE SKINNER
  66. 66. Drug Abuse Appalachian is one of the most diverse and beautiful mountain ranges in the word. Underneath the beauty lies a very dark side, derived from greed and power. Appalachia has struggled with economic and social distress for over a century. The region has been plagued with the rampant demand for cheep energy; along with the overexpansion of mines during the industrialization, and war efforts leaving an instable market where only the large companies could survive (1). This and other factors such as; out migration, welfare programs, the war on poverty during the 70‘s, concentration of political power, increased infrastructure in the outer regions, have all contributed to the overall poverty in the area especially with in the central hart of the region.
  67. 67. Drug Abuse With the high poverty rates, lack of moonshine and marijuana, to the much economic opportunity, and education; more addictive, and dangerous forms of the Appalachia region has long abuse. Today the region suffers from struggled with substance abuse. The an epidemic of prescription painkiller. early mountaineers did not look at it as The epidemic has touched all most substance abuse, but more like self everyone in the Appalachia region. As Doctor Eller points out in ―Uneven medicating. The rough conditions in Ground‖ from 2000 to 2002 there were the mines, low economic level, and high unemployment in the region, led more than 1300 drug related deaths many to self medicate with moonshine occurred in the mountains of the blue and marijuana. They also granted light grass state. It is clear there is a very big on an economic opportunity, for anyone problem in the Appalachia region and willing to break the law, and many growing. In a resent ARC report jumped on the lucrative band wagon. released showed a nation wide increase Moonshine and Marijuana helped ease in prescription painkillers among the pain, as well as the feelings of adolescents, and even a higher increase inadequacy from lack of in the Appalachian region among employment, as well as the pain the one adolescents. (2) endures while working in the mine. Though now days the illegal drug use in Appalachia has evolved from
  68. 68. Figure 1 abuse with opiates
  69. 69. Drug Abuse • The question is how can we fix this, and if not soon what will the future hold for Appalachia? When looking at the illegal drug use in Appalachia it is easy to generalize the problem with a stereotype, and blame it on those suffering with addiction. But it is much more complex than that; the low socioeconomic levels of the central areas of the region are being reinforced with new policy decisions. The education system, health care, and the political figures in the region have all played roles in the use of illegal drugs in the region. The central region of Appalachia, consist of Eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and East
  70. 70. You can also see that the central part of Appalachia has the worst economic levels in the region.
  71. 71. Drug Abuse This is important because the blunt of the illegal drug use is focused in this area, and has a direct link to the lack of economic opportunity. This is also where the majority of the mining is done. The socioeconomic conditions have tried to be combated on many different levels, in many areas but we tend to see the same result. The political elites become more concentrated with power, while the division grows stacking the odds even higher against the worst off.